PADIHAM: Jail for knifeman who threatened to kill victim’s children

JAILED: John O'Brien (S)
JAILED: John O'Brien (S)

A VIOLENT man who slashed his partner with a knife during a drunken argument has been jailed for five years.

Burnley Crown Court heard how John O’Brien (37) of Altham Street, Padiham, had a long history of violent offences including threatening a lone woman with an imitation firearm and assaulting a police officer.O’Brien had earlier pleaded guilty to a charge of wounding with intent in relation to an incident at the home of his partner Miss Julie Lewis.

Mr David Macro (prosecuting) told the court that the pair had known each other for around 20 years but had been in a relationship around three weeks.

He described O’Brien as “a controlling character” who checked Miss Lewis’ mobile phone and who slept with a knife in his hand.

“On the night in question O’Brien and Lewis were in the house with her two teenage children. O’Brien and Miss Lewis went to bed around 2-30 a.m. Miss Lewis later checked her purse and found some money was missing. When she asked the defendant if he had taken it he went mad.

“He punched her in the face and produced a kitchen knife. He then slashed her to her arms, neck and head causing her to bleed. O’Brien held his hand over her mouth and told her he would kill her children if she wasn’t quiet. He then told her he loved her and that life would not be worth living without her.”

Mr Macro told how the defendant had convictions for assault, affray, robbery and threatening behaviour.

The following morning, Miss Lewis rang her ex-partner who called the police. Her statement to officers told how she was terrified of O’Brien.

However, Mr Chris Dunn (defending) told the court that Miss Lewis later retracted her statement and said that her memory was “cloudy” because she had drank strong white cider and smoked cannabis that evening. The solicitor said that police remarked she had been “relatively calm and blase”.

Sentencing O’Brien to five years imprisonment, Judge J.H. Gibson described O’Brien as a dangerous offender and said he needed to “protect the public from serious harm.”